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USS Boxer celebrates 25th anniversary

SAN DIEGO (Feb. 11, 2020) Capt. Dale Heinken, commanding officer of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), Cmdr. Michael Fortunato, right, and Yeoman Seaman Recruit Nakia Felton, cut the cake for Boxer's 25th anniversary celebration. Boxer was commissioned on Feb. 11th, 1995 in Pascagoula, Miss. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Justin Daniel RankinSAN DIEGO (Feb. 11, 2020) Capt. Dale Heinken, commanding officer of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), Cmdr. Michael Fortunato, right, and Yeoman Seaman Recruit Nakia Felton, cut the cake for Boxer's 25th anniversary celebration. Boxer was commissioned on Feb. 11th, 1995 in Pascagoula, Miss. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Justin Daniel Rankin. Read more...

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Apply now for loans from NMCRS Educational Assistance program
February is here and that means there are only three months left until The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society’s Educational Assistance program closes on May 1. The program offers interest-free loans and grants for an undergraduate or master’s degree. Assistance is available for children of active duty, retired or deceased Sailors and Marines; and for spouses of active duty and retired Sailors and Marines. For more information or to apply, visit www.nmcrs.org/education.

Applications open for Fisher House
scholarships for military children

Calling all college students and graduating seniors: Fisher House Foundation Scholarships for Military Children is open for the 2020 scholarship program. Applications must be submitted online at www.militaryscholar.org.

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Congress wants to hear from you:
Seeking female service members/vets

If you’re a female service member preparing for your upcoming transition out of the Navy or a female veteran who has transitioned out of the Navy during the past year, Congress wants to hear from you about your transition experience. A Congressional delegation will be visiting San Diego on Thursday, Feb. 20 and will be holding two important sessions: • 8:30-9:30 a.m. at Naval Base San Diego or • 10:30-11:30 a.m. at Naval Air Station North Island. Space is limited so registration is required and details will be provided upon registration. Call (619) 556-9866 or e-mail rebecca.y.garcia.ctr@navy.mil.

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VA introduces 'Solid Start' to provide support to veterans
Program provides vets supportive contact and information to enable success
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, in collaboration with the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, introduced VA Solid Start which will proactively contact all newly separated service members at least three times during their first year of transition from the military.
Read more....

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Military couple assignment policy: 5 things to know
The Navy realizes how important families are, and when they're not whole it can add stress to a Sailor's life. Collocation of dual-military couples is part of supporting families. It is a priority, along with balancing fleet readiness. The revised policy updates the collocation and distribution procedures and makes orders negotiation less cumbersome........ read more

Navy Pregnancy and Parenthood mobile app available
"Pregnancy and parenthood can be compatible with a successful military career when Service members and the Command both understand their roles and responsibilities, said Capt. Candace Eckert, director of N1 Diversity. "This app makes that task easier by identifying regulations, instructions and references from a wide variety of sources and offering them in one easy-to-use app. The app includes information regarding assignments, retention, separation, standards of conduct and much more." ......read more

Separation policy
To protect Sailors and Marines suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) or any other diagnosed mental health condition, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has made his department the first in the military to assure such conditions are considered before separating a service member. ......read more

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MORE NEWSSTORIES
flagFY ‘21 DOD budget request seeks 3 percent pay raise for service members
flagBlack History Month: Honoring the Past, Securing the Future
flagUSS Boxer celebrates 25th anniversary
flagAbraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group arrives in San Diego after around-the-world deployment
flagAircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to change homeport back to San Diego this summer after completion of maintenance
flagRoosevelt Carrier Strike Group departs on regularly scheduled deployment
flagAfter record deployment USS Abraham Lincoln arrives Hawaii; ready for final leg of homport shift'
flagUSS Abraham Lincoln first deck log entry 2020 in verse
flagAviation leaders engage sustainment teams in West Coast 'Boots on Ground'
flag2nd Fleet declares full operational capability
flag2020 BAH, Basic Pay rates released by DOD
flagUSS America arrives in Japan in homeport change from San Diego
flagUSO honors outstanding service members at annual awards ceremony
flagUSS New Orleans arrives at new homeport of Sasebo, Japan
flagBill introduced to build DC monument for Medal of Honor recipients
flagVA introduces 'Solid Start' to provide support to veterans
flagNEXCOM launches NEXTgen Scholars Program
flagBoxer ARG returns from deployment
flagUSS Lake Erie returns from deployment
flagNewest San Diego ship USS Cincinnati pulls in to port
flagSeal Beach again named best small Navy installation in the Southwest
flagUSS America leaves SD for new homeport In Japan
flagNMCSD achieves meritorious status in quality metrics
flagNSWC Corona officially opens long-awaited OM&S Warehouse in ribbon cutting ceremony
flagApproved veterans and caregivers to access base facilities, shops
flagNavy commissions USS Cincinnati; Newest LCS to be homeported in San Diego
flagU.S. 3rd Fleet changes hands; Alexander retires
flagMilley takes oath as 20th Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff
flagNAVFAC Southwest change of command
flag2nd Fleet ships, aircraft depart Dorian's path; Installations continue preparations
flagNAVWAR showcases speed, agility at Navy Test & Evaluation Summit
flagNavy releases hemp policy
flagMore Sailor-friendly options for PCS moves
flagNAVWAR partners with UCSD, explores data science for improved decision making
flagUSS Michael Murphy provides aid to stranded mariners
flagNew uniform mobile app has new name, new guidance
flagUSS Stethem arrives at new homeport: San Diego
flagNavy modernizing PCS move process
flagAI prize challenge offers $150,000 total cash prizes
flagPost GI Bill benefits transfer extended for some
flagDo you want to be a career recruiter?
flag Gator Week: ‘Building resiliency through camaraderie’
flagMCPON, VCNO honor 2018 Sailors of the Year
flagOceanside hosts Operation Appreciation Armed Forces Day celebration
flagAmerica On Main Street 'Out of this World'
flagUSS America, USS New Orleans to forward deploy to Japan; USS Stethem, USS Wasp to return to U.S.
flagNavy to showcase innovative Information Warfare capabilities
flagNavy's newest littoral combat ship, USS Charleston, arrives SD
flagNavy Region Southwest welcomes new commander
flagSPAWAR Systems Center names change to Naval Information Warfare Centers
flagWill you make the cut? US Navy Ceremonial Guard NAVADMIN released
flagNaval Research Laboratory Tech Transfer Office forges collaboration with tech incubator
flagUSS Michael Monsoor commissioned in San Diego
flagNavy technology commands improve Information Warfare readiness
flagIndianapolis endures
flagCAC-less: The future of Navy mobile apps
flagSailor selected to Warrant Officer 1, Navy's first since 1975
flagNavy announces advancement policy updates
flagCNSF signs new Surface Warfare Watchstander Proficiency Requirements Instruction
flagQuick reminders to keep you, your DoD info cybersecure
flagNavy reestablishes Sailor Early Return-to-Sea policy
flagDoD partners With LinkedIn, offers military spouses free membership
flagTrump signs order to improve mental health resources for transitioning veterans
flagSelf service updates for emergency contacts
flagNavy develops 'smart' artificial limbs
flagNAVY 311 answers the call
Cirque-Du-Soleil Ovo

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Local military news
Welcome home: We're so happy to see you ....
SAN DIEGO (Jan. 20, 2020) Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Seaman Tyler Morris, from Paradise, Calif., reunites with his family during the homecoming of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). Lincoln returns to Naval Air Station North Island after a ten-month deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th, 5th, and 7th Fleet areas of operation. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Danielle A. Baker
SAN DIEGO (Jan. 20, 2020) Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Seaman Tyler Morris, from Paradise, Calif., reunites with his family during the homecoming of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). Lincoln returns to Naval Air Station North Island after a ten-month deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th, 5th, and 7th Fleet areas of operation. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Danielle A. Baker.

SAN DIEGO (Jan. 20, 2020) Family and friends hold signs to welcome home Sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). Lincoln returns to Naval Air Station North Island after a ten-month deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th, 5th, and 7th Fleet areas of operation. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Danielle A. Baker SAN DIEGO (Jan. 20, 2020) Family and friends hold signs to welcome home Sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). Lincoln returns to Naval Air Station North Island after a ten-month deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th, 5th, and 7th Fleet areas of operation. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Danielle A. Baker
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SAN DIEGO (Jan. 20, 2020) Navy Counselor 1st Class Solimar Velazco mans the rails aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) as it arrives at Naval Air Station North Island after a ten-month deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th, 5th, and 7th Fleet areas of operation. With Abraham Lincoln as the flagship, deployed strike assets include staffs and aircraft of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2 and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7. U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Tristan Kyle Labuguen
SAN DIEGO (Jan. 20, 2020) Navy Counselor 1st Class Solimar Velazco mans the rails aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) as it arrives at Naval Air Station North Island after a ten-month deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th, 5th, and 7th Fleet areas of operation. With Abraham Lincoln as the flagship, deployed strike assets include staffs and aircraft of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2 and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7. U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Tristan Kyle Labuguen.

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Seal Beach again picked as Best Small Navy Installation in the Southwest
by Gregg Smith, Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach Public Affairs
SEAL BEACH, Calif. (NNS) -- For the third time in four years, Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach has been selected as the winner of the Commander, Navy Region Southwest Installation Excellence Award for Small Installations.
The award recognizes bases for superior support to the fleet, cost savings, and innovative improvements to facilities, quality of life, safety, and environmental sustainability.
“Competition this year was tough, and all of our bases have had some truly outstanding accomplishments,” said the Commander of Navy Region Southwest, Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar.
“However, the exceptional work by the Seal Beach team really stood out.”
In recent years base personnel have led efforts to curb the use of energy and water, build a new ammunition pier, upgrade the gym and family housing units, and improve the safety and security of base operations.
“It is a true honor and privilege to be a part of this great organization, and we would not have been selected for this recognition without everyone’s hard work and dedication," said weapons station Commanding Officer Capt. Jason Sherman. "Our efforts at constant improvement, collaboration and teamwork have really paid off, and I’m looking forward to seeing how we fare at the national level."
The weapons station will next represent the Southwest region in the competition for the best small installation Navy-wide. That contest is scheduled to be decided by January 2020.
In 2012 and 2016 the base and its two detachments in Fallbrook and Norco, Calif. went on to win honors as the best small installation in the U.S. Navy.
Commencing operations in 1944 as a Naval Ammunition and Net Depot, Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach provides munitions to a majority of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

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National military news

PACIFIC OCEAN (Feb. 12, 2020) An unarmed Trident II (D5LE) missile launches from the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Maine (SSBN 741) off the coast of San Diego, California, Feb. 12, 2020. The test launch was part of the U.S. Navy Strategic Systems Programs' demonstration and shakedown operation certification process. The successful launch demonstrated the readiness of the SSBN's strategic weapon system and crew following the submarine's engineered refueling overhaul. This launch marks 177 successful missile launches of the Trident II (D5 & D5LE) strategic weapon system. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Thomas Gooley
PACIFIC OCEAN (Feb. 12, 2020) An unarmed Trident II (D5LE) missile launches from the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Maine (SSBN 741) off the coast of San Diego, California, Feb. 12, 2020. The test launch was part of the U.S. Navy Strategic Systems Programs' demonstration and shakedown operation certification process. The successful launch demonstrated the readiness of the SSBN's strategic weapon system and crew following the submarine's engineered refueling overhaul. This launch marks 177 successful missile launches of the Trident II (D5 & D5LE) strategic weapon system. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Thomas Gooley
USS Maine successfully tests Trident II D5LE missile
2/12/2020
From Navy Systems Programs Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy conducted a scheduled, one-missile test flight of an unarmed life-extended Trident II (D5LE) missile from USS Maine (SSBN-741), an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine, on the Western Test Range off the coast of San Diego, California, today.
This was part of a Demonstration and Shakedown Operation, designated DASO-30. The primary objective of a DASO is to evaluate and demonstrate the readiness of the SSBN’s strategic weapon system and crew before operational deployment following the submarine’s engineered refueling overhaul.
“The professional performance by the crew of the USS Maine today demonstrated they are ready to stand the watch for our nation's strategic deterrence mission," said James F. Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition who embarked USS Maine for the launch. “They, and the acquisition and sustainment teams that support them, showed the teamwork, commitment, and attention to detail needed to continue to provide the undersea strategic deterrence for our nation, just as the Navy has done uninterrupted for the last 60 years.”
This launch marks 177 successful missile launches of the Trident II (D5 & D5LE) strategic weapon system (SWS).
“Today’s test demonstrates the continued reliability of our sea-based nuclear deterrent, which is made possible by our sailors, civilians and industry partners who bring expertise and dedication to the mission that is unmatched by any other country,” said Vice Adm. Johnny R. Wolfe, director of the Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs. “These same teams are now developing the next generation of the Trident strategic weapon system, which will extend our sea-based deterrent for the next 40 years.”
The Trident strategic weapon system is highly accurate and reliable. The Trident II (D5) missiles recently underwent a life extension program to address potential impacts from aging and obsolescence. The life-extended missiles – Trident II (D5LE) – are now being deployed to the Fleet and will serve for the remaining service life of U.S Ohio-class and United Kingdom Vanguard -class SSBNs, and as the initial loadout for the U.S. Columbia-class and U.K. Dreadnought-class SSBNs.
The Navy’s last DASO was in May 2019 off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, from USS Rhode Island (SSBN-740). The Navy’s most recent flight test – a Commander’s Evaluation Test – was a series of four launches from USS Nebraska (SSBN-739) in September 2019 off the coast of Southern California. All five of these 2019 flight tests were of the life-extended Trident II (D5LE).
Flight test missiles are not armed. Safety of the public and the crew conducting the mission is paramount. Today’s launch was conducted from sea, the missile flew over the sea, and landed in the sea. At no time did the missile fly over land.
The missile test was not conducted in response to any ongoing world events or as a demonstration of power. Test launches – including DASOs – are scheduled years in advance.
A credible, effective nuclear deterrent is essential to our national security and the security of U.S. allies. Deterrence remains a cornerstone of national security policy in the 21st century.
Strategic Systems Programs is the Navy command that provides cradle-to-grave lifecycle support for the Navy's strategic weapon systems. This includes training, systems, equipment, facilities and personnel responsible for ensuring the safety, security, and effectiveness of the nation’s Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) Trident II (D5LE) strategic weapon system.
SLBMs are the sea-based leg of the nation’s strategic nuclear deterrent Triad that also includes the U.S. Air Force’s intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and nuclear-capable bombers. Each part of the Triad provides unique capabilities and advantages.
The sea-based leg makes up the majority – approximately 70 percent – of the U.S.’s deployed strategic nuclear deterrent Triad. The SLBM is the most survivable leg of the triad, provides a persistent presence, and allows for flexible concepts of operations.

Pentagon warns service members not to use home DNA kits
The Pentagon recently warned that military personnel shouldn’t use at-home DNA kits such as 23andme or Ancestry. The advisory, initially obtained by Yahoo News, said such kits could pose a security risk. It also warned military personnel are being targeted by the companies with discounts encouraging them to purchase the at-home kits.“Exposing sensitive genetic information to outside parties poses personal and operational risks to Services members,” the memo noted. “These (direct-to-consumer) genetic tests are largely unregulated and could expose personal and genetic information, and potentially create unintended security consequences and increased risk to the joint force and mission.” ... Refer to https://www.stripes.com/news/us/don-t-use-home-dna-kits-pentagon-warns-service-members-1.612655.

Marines offer up to $90K in bonuses for reenlistments
The Marine Corps is offering up to $90,000 in retention bonuses for high-demand career fields, including Raiders, reconnaissance and explosive ordnance disposal, as it seeks to retain young Marines with key skills.
The selective reenlistment bonuses for FY 2020 include incentives for aviation maintenance, air traffic controllers, infantry squad leaders and Marines willing to make a lateral move to select specialties such as intelligence and cyberdefense, a command bulletin issued Friday said.
“Retaining our experienced and qualified Marines remains one of the Commandant’s highest priorities,” it said. “Achieving retention goals is vital for shaping and sustaining the Marine Corps’ enlisted force.”
Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said in a letter last October that the Corps needed to recruit 38,500 new members to fill gaps in the ranks.

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United Through Reading®
Deploying? Service members invited to record stories for family at San Diego USO
United Through Reading® is a program helping ease the stress of separation for military families by having deploying or deployed service members read children’s books aloud via DVD for their family to watch at home. This powerful program is available to all military units. It provides service members a chance to make lasting connections from afar. The DVD recording and the book are mailed to the child and family back home.
Service members who are leaving for training can also take part in this program. Being a parent is not required; service members can send the DVD & book(s) to any special child in their life such as younger sister or brother, niece, nephew or godchild.
On the day of the recording, service members are encouraged to dress in the attire they will be wearing while deployed/training, but this is not required. The room is private, so any special message, or those fun reading voices, will only be heard by the recipient of the DVD recording. USO San Diego has books available, or service members can bring their own. Our volunteers will help set up the camera and then leave the room. The DVD can hold a 30 minute recording.
Please e-mail USO San Diego Staff Member Nichole Duarte at utr@usosandiego.org to make your appointment. This program is offered at both USO San Diego centers.

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